A rambling account offers support and intriguing coping techniques for men suffering from clinical depression.

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THE CRANE DANCE

TAKING FLIGHT IN MIDLIFE

A debut author intimately explores his midlife struggle to confront a low-grade depression that allowed him professional and personal success but prevented him from experiencing joy.

In 1988, at age 41, Finger lost his job with the North Carolina Study Commission on Aging, finding himself in a psychologically downward spiral that threatened to overwhelm him and his family. He had suffered from periods of depression before, but had always plowed through, using school, Peace Corps participation, work, and family responsibilities to keep his mind focused. But this time, although he began picking up assorted writing/consulting projects, he couldn’t seem to move past a growing sadness that caused him to draw further into himself: “The transitions in my life, both large and small, have triggered what I have learned are symptoms of depression—worry, lack of hope, workaholism, irritability, and sleeplessness.” A men’s support group that he joined before the firing had been offering activity-oriented workshops; Finger decided to give them a try. It was the beginning of a decadelong journey to self-discovery. He sought help through traditional treatment (psychotherapy and Prozac) and learned to express his emotions through modern dance. Finger brings readers through every step of his personal revelations and progressions, be they detailed reporting of symbolic dreams, poems written to celebrate workshop occasions, or the dances he choreographed, described movement by movement. He writes: “I start doing little crane dances to accent my long, thin arms as huge wings, my hands bent at the wrist, fingers pointing down. My lean legs, balancing on one and then the other, complement the picture. Bending my left knee, I pick my right leg up. Then, I raise my forearms up, fingers pointing to the sky.... I try to call up the crane within me and remember that survival is possible.” The prose is polished, often poignant, displaying an engaging honesty. But less would have been more when it comes to Finger’s exhaustive mental meanderings through his memories and self-analysis.

A rambling account offers support and intriguing coping techniques for men suffering from clinical depression.

Pub Date: July 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9965875-0-1

Page Count: 296

Publisher: JourneyCake Spirit

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2017

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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